How People Judge Music

How People Judge Music

Think about music for a moment.

Music is something we listen to. It’s an auditory activity. We pop earbuds into our ears and listen to our preferred songs. We hit a few buttons in the car and listen to preselected music stations, all chosen for our preferred listening habits.

But is music just for listening? Do we judge what music we like simply by what we hear?

It’s not always the case.How People Judge Music

While music is auditory, we associate music with visual preferences. Watch your favorite musician in action. You enjoy the performance just as much as you do the music.

It also impacts musicians at every level of performance.

Classically trained pianists that compete regularly are often judged differently depending on whether judges have audio or visual access. It’s not just amateurs or non-professional musicians that judge it differently; seasoned judges view it differently as well.

When we see someone perform, we judge more than the music they create. We judge their passion, their creativity, the way they move, the theater they put into their performance.

Overall, humans have evolved to weigh visual information heaviest. We rely on visual cues to identify different traits. While you may be able to hear great playing in a recording, when you add in body movements, costume design, even performance backgrounds into the picture, it can sway how a person really feels.

Music is truly an art form, one that can change and grow depending on the person it’s impacting. Get into it. Let yourself go. And enjoy all it has to give.


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